Friday, July 2, 2010

Scow trip July 1-2, 2010.

Morning of July 2 here now. We got the scow pulled off the big rock. It was a tricky lift for the crane crew but they got the job done. We drove east and are now at Content Bridge where highway 21 crosses the Red Deer. Here and below the river is very placid without rapids and moves at about walking speed so will be less technically challenging. We will be going to Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park over the next two days. Mosquitoes dreadful here. Nice and sunny and looks like a great day for a float.
On July 2nd we floated some 39 kilometres to McKenzie Crossing. We got stuck on gravel bars or rocks 6 times and were very lucky in two cases to have help. In the first case 8 kayakers pushed us off a gravel bar on which we were firmly stuck. In the second case, we got stuck mid-river in fast water at Trenville Park while dozens of tourists watched. Lucky for us, several young men jumped into the river and after much effort got us going again! When the scow works it works great, but when we have problems with rocks it creates a serious situation. However we did make excellent progress today.


  1. Take heart Captain Tanke and brave crew! Following your progress with keen interest here in Niagara. Can't help but compare your notes with those of William Dawe in Badlands. Kroetsch paints the scene below Tail Creek like this:

    "And all afternoon they floated downriver, Dawe watching the banks, watching every new slide that might have betrayed a buried bone into daylight; they put him ashore, let him hammer and brush as if to smash and then clean the continent itself, the boat drifting while he crawled, walked, leapt; Dawe on board again and watching every cutbank or rilled butte, the tumble of scree at the base of a sandstone cliff; they tied up that night at the head of an island where driftwood was available and a breeze kept down the mosquitoes while they ate supper then listened to the coyotes and then slept; they followed the morning sun into waking, were scolded awake by the myriad birds and the fuzzy, raw light on the white canvas roof and walls; and all morning they drifted again, put Dawe ashore, picked him up, drifted on past dinnertime and into early afternoon. Web watching the skyline."

    Keep a sharp eye for rapids. In the next chapter the Dawe Expedition goes through a mean stretch and the bowman gets an unplanned dunk!

    Best to all, Sam Pane

  2. Sweet stuff guys ! i actually found quite a lot of bones and even a tooth in the red deer river bed... lots of bones near Rosebud, AB and even more bones & the tooth near Steveville, AB. i really want to find more but without being on private land or provincial park land... who owns the banks od the Red deer river anyway ?


  3. Met you fellows breifly as you were awaiting repairs at Riverbend in Red Deer. Good luck and I hope the mosquitos give you a break. I look forward to images when you are able to upload.

  4. A scow, in the original sense, is a flat bottomed boat with a blunt bow, often used to haul bulk freight; cf. barge. The etymology of the word is from the Dutch schouwe, meaning such a boat.